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How To Choose A Mattress

Apr 19, 2008
Mattresses have progressed since the first coil spring construction was introduced in 1865. Today, thanks to technological advancements, there are a wide variety of choices. Ultimately, choosing a new mattress comes down to personal preference; each individual or couple must determine their priorities and taste for materials, comfort, quality, and luxury.

Mattress Types

* Coil Spring Mattress. Spring mattresses have existed for more than 100 years. The technology and fabrics have changed, but the basic idea of a bed made out of heated metal coils remains the same. These coils help retain the shape of the mattress but can break down over time, causing the mattress to sag. Spring mattresses also have the tendency to create pressure points on the areas of greatest weight concentration.

* Memory Foam Mattress. Memory foam mattresses provide comfort and support by retaining the shape of your body. They are made from synthetic materials, which retain body heat but can sometimes cause overheating. The synthetic materials also commonly leak chemicals - a phenomenon known as 'offgassing' - which can cause respiratory problems and skin irritation. Memory foam mattress should be aired out before use. The memory foam mattress was first used by NASA in the 1970s because it retained body shape and did not require a box spring. They offer better spinal support than coil mattresses and feel more solid than latex mattresses.

* Latex Mattress. A latex mattress is flexible and conforms to your body. Often made from organic latex, it is especially helpful for people with allergies because it resists mold and mildew. In addition, the organic materials prevent offgassing. Latex is a natural rubber, yet it feels springier than a memory foam mattress. A mattress that is made of natural fibers captures moisture and keeps your body temperature comfortable so you can get a better night's sleep.

* Flotation Mattress. The flotation mattress uses water to support the spine and then another material, such as latex or foam, for cushioning and rails. These mattresses prevent pressure points by distributing the body weight evenly. The comfortable sleeping surface is produced without the typical rocking or wave motion characteristic of waterbeds.

* Air Mattress. A quality air mattress uses uniquely designed air chambers to provide a gentle cushion of support. Using a simple remote control, the amount of air can be easily adjusted to personal preference for comfort and firmness. In addition these mattresses can be individually adjusted on each side of the bed making it ideal for couples with different sleep needs or comfort levels.

Comparing Technology and Making a Choice

When shopping for a new mattress, it is important to take the time to go to a retailer to test out a few different types. What is comfortable for one person might not be right for another. While is it important to be knowledgeable about all of the different technological advancements, essentially it comes down to a matter of personal preference. The best mattress is the one that is right for you and your specific needs.
About the Author
For more health tips and published research with vertigo, migraine, Multiple Sclerosis and Parkinson's disease patients by Dr. Erin Elster, D.C., upper cervical chiropractor, in Boulder, Colorado, visit her website www.erinelster.com.
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